Rick Copeland
Master hunter/angler who helped bring thousands of newcomers into the outdoors – 2008

Copeland is an abalone diver, fly fisher and a highly-skilled hunter for duck, deer, turkey and wild pigs. He has inspired thousands of youngsters, women and other newcomers to take up fishing and hunting.

Copeland was a founder of the “Becoming An Outdoors Woman” program, has led two “Catch-A-Smile” functions per year, helped administer the Youth Outdoors Sports Fair and donated free expert how-to seminars for the public with the Department of Fish and Game.

He has served as president and CEO of Wilderness Unlimited, the largest hunting and fishing organization of its kind in America. As a biologist, he manages thousands of acres for hunting, fishing and habitat conservation.

Copeland was the leading vote-getter this year. “The award was created for people like this,” wrote one voter anonymously. “He is the consummate outdoorsman, highly skilled in many vocations, yet one who has had a great positive impact on thousands of others.”